Saturday, February 28, 2009

He Is Her Disease

Sad word on the street is that Rihanna and Chris Brown have reconciled.

The two are staying at Diddy’s house on Star Island near South Beach. Rihanna is said to have arrived in town four days ago, while Brown has been spotted riding a jet ski and flexing his arm muscles all douche-bag-like.

In its latest issue, Us Weekly reports that the pair (pictured at right at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party before this happened) have recently begun speaking again, and that Brown reached out to Rihanna on her 21st birthday. “He’s been calling and they are talking,” a source said.

Rihanna, you need to check into love “Rehab” – or, at least, listen to your own song.

Photo: InStyle.com.
Gossip and Snow

Brittany Snow, the cute-as-a-button actress who starred on NBC’s American Dreams, has emerged as the front-runner for the role of a young Lily van der Woodsen in The CW’s forthcoming Gossip Girl spin-off.

Sources say Snow is in advanced negotiations to headline the new show, which will be set in Los Angeles and chronicle the teen years of Kelly Rutherford’s Gossip Girl alter ego.

The backdoor pilot will air on May 11 as part of a regular Gossip Girl episode. The spin-off is considered a lock to land on the network’s fall schedule.

I like this news…just as long as the quality of original-flavor Gossip Girl won’t suffer.

Photo: TylerShields.com.

Update: And speaking of Gossip Girl, No Doubt will perform on an episode of the show on the same night the backdoor pilot for the spin-off will air.

The going-on-tour-this-summer band will play ’80s anthem “Stand and Deliver” by Adam and the Ants.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Single White Female

Ali Larter (TV’s Heroes) would like to have what Beyoncé Knowles is having.

In Obsessed, a thriller opening on April 24, Larter’s temp worker who covets/stalks (you know, that line is so fine) successful, happily married exec Idris Elba (HBO’s The Wire).

The problem is he has a wife (Knowles) who is not about to take this fixation sitting down. Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no.

Photo: Sony Pictures.
RBT NSFW

Warning: The Adventureland RBT (red-band trailer) is totally NSFW (not suitable for work), so get your LOLs (you know what that means) at your own discretion:



Is that last line not hilarious or what!

Adventureland, starring Jesse Eisenberg (The Squid and the Whale), Kristen Stewart (Twilight), and Ryan Reynolds, opens on March 27.
They Did It!

Denial, schmenial.

Congratulations and best wishes go out to the hottest couple alive – sorry, Brangelina – Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen.

The couple reportedly tied the knot yesterday in a “small and intimate” ceremony in Santa Monica, Calif.

Bündchen donned a form-fitting ivory lace strapless gown with a trumpet skirt, scalloped edges, long train (natch), and a floor-length veil (double-natch) with attached handmade satin roses and attached satin headband, all designed by Dolce & Gabbana.

Meanwhile, Brady looked hot (triple-natch) in whatever he wore.

Photo: HollywoodCrap.com.

Update:
Because I know you want to know, Tom Brady wore a gray two-button peak lapel pure wool suit made by Ermenegildo Zegna to marry the Brazilian bombshell that is Gisele Bündchen.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Taking the Producing Thing Seriously

Tahmoh Penikett’s Dollhouse leading lady Eliza Dushku will produce a film based on the life of 1970s photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, whose daring and controversial celebrity portraits made him famous, before dying at age 42 from complications related to AIDS.

Dushku has recruited indie documentarian Ondi Timoner (DiG!) to helm the film, which is currently titled The Perfect Moment, but did not mention who might star as the acclaimed shutterbug.

The actress-turned producer told E! last month at Sundance that she imagined her older brother Nate in the lead role.

“Nate physically has an uncanny resemblance to Robert,” Dushku said. “Some pictures are really eerie.”

I’m so happy the erstwhile rogue vampire slayer has taken a proactive approach to her career.

Some people – cough, cough, Lindsay Lohan, cough – should take note.

Photo: Oumwashtenaw.org.
A Woman’s Right to GOOP

Gwyneth Paltrow is under attack, and I just don’t get why.

Last fall, Paltrow launched GOOP, a lifestyle Web site and weekly newsletter (I just got this week’s Paris-themed issue this morning!) in which she basically tells her readers what to get, where to go, what to make, etc.

You know, because she’s Gwyneth Paltrow and all. And because why not, right – after all, the media ask her those questions all the time.

GOOP was greeted less than warmly, natch-ish, especially by the media. Just last week, The New York Times published an article questioning its relevance, while other Web sites have ridiculed Paltrow for a number of things.

The actress says she decided to launch the Web site, which carries the tagline, “Nourish The Inner Aspect,” because she has “really useful information that I was privileged enough to get, because I have this amazing, super, fortunate life.”

OK – so she sounds a little…conceited. But the truth is she does, and we spend a lot of time feeding that notion (by watching her or any star’s movies), and envying that fact.

She has an amazing, super, fortunate life – she has the talented husband who writes songs for her, the two precious children and family, the amazing closet, and the Oscar to prove it, so suck it good and suck it hard – and she should GOOP about it if she wants to. I made the choice to sign up for the newsletter, and I for one cannot wait to try her molten chocolate cakes recipe.

If she can do it, so can I! That’s all she’s saying.

Photo: USMagazine.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 46

What is a Tahmoh Penikett – and how do I get myself one?

That’s the only burning question I had after watching the first couple of episodes of Joss Whedon’s new Fox show, Dollhouse, which airs on Fridays at 9 p.m.

What a hot stud and a half!

If you ever thought you needed a reason to watch Dollhouse, I’ll give you one that comes with a six-pack (of abs): Penikett (who can also be seen on SciFi’s Battlestar Galactica, btw).

Photo: TahmohPenikett.blogspot.com.
Maid Up

Cate Blanchett will play Maid Marian to Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood in a soon-to-begin-production Ridley Scott-directed drama. Blanchett takes over the role from Sienna Miller, who was attached to the project at one time but exited last year.

The movie, f.k.a. Nottingham, will be renamed and will begin production in early April.

Crowe will play Robin of Loxley in an origin story about Robin Hood that hews close to historical facts of the period.

“[Russell and Cate] are both highly accomplished dramatic actors who are taken seriously playing rich characters in period pieces,” said producer Brian Grazer, “but each has the ability to show you fun.”

Photo: Time.com.

Can’t Wait for March

I have a shameful confession to make: Right now, my TiVo is holding several episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Ugly Betty.

I mean, like a month’s worth.

I said it was shameful.

But I just read I needn’t fret: I haven’t missed Stephanie March’s return to SVU quite just yet. While her six-episode arc was supposed to kick off on Feb. 17, she will be seen on the show beginning on March 10.

And as March (pictured at right with her husband, Bobby Flay, and local news gal Laurie Jennings) told me on Sunday at an Oscar party, and as I told a little bird, the actress is thrilled to go back to the show because, “I love it there – they are so good to me.”

And she is so good to it.

Photo: SoBeFest.com.
When Obama Met Congress

President Barack Obama addressed Congress for the first time last night, and pledged that the United States “will rebuild, we will recover.”

I presume Obama was referring to the economy. I didn’t watch the entire speech, just toward the end.

The president also stated that his budget priorities are energy, health care and education.

Now, I know it’s early, but watch the speech if you haven’t– and have a shot every single time Obama’s audience stands up to give him a round of applause (I dare ya):

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Looking Forward to Summer

Earlier today, I said I couldn’t wait for spring.

I just watched the trailer for 500 Days of Summer, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a greeting-card writer and hopeless romantic who is caught off-guard when his girlfriend, Summer (Zooey Deschanel), suddenly dumps him, and then begins to look back on their 500 days together to try to figure out where their love affair went sour, and in so doing, rediscovers his true passions in life.

So I’m changing my tune…and I’m saying I cannot wait for Summer (which is due in theaters on July 24).

Photo: Fandango.com.
I Like Him...I Really Like Him

At the Oscars on Sunday, Milk Best Actor winner Sean Penn may have admitted he “do[es] know how hard I make it to appreciate me, often,” so with that in mind he is said to have made quite a funny later in the night when he hit Madonna’s beyond-exclusive after-party.

Presumably, Penn showed up at the ex’s shindig, and after M congratulated him, he took one look at her new beau, Brazilian model Jesus Luz, and quipped, “Thanks. Another kid already?”

Good going, stranger.

Photos: People.com.
Ready to Go Right Now

The CW has given its upcoming reboot of Melrose Place the green light – in more ways than one: The up-and-coming network has hired green-minded director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) to helm the show’s pilot.

Like the original-flavor show, Melrose Place 2.0 will follow twentysomethings living in a trendy section of Los Angeles. But with Guggenheim helming the pilot, they may recycle and drive Priuses this go-round and pass one another around, natch.

Actually, they did that way back when, too. Some things never change, after all.

And how’s this for one-degree of separation: Guggenheim’s brother-in-law is original cast member Andrew Shue, a.k.a. Billy Campbell.

Pictured at right are some of my favorite classic characters. Now click here for the deets on the new ones.

Photo: Flickr.com.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yet Another Reason to Love Daniel Craig

“Well said!”

That’s what Daniel Craig reportedly yelled out, at the Vanity Fair Oscar party (while standing next to Madonna) last night, when Sean Penn made his acceptance speech, which damned Prop 8 supporters.

Daniel Craig. When he says things like that, he can take my hand…take my whole life, too.

Photo: EW.com.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Night for Surprises?

I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to use this pretty image of this year’s Oscar poster, so I figured I’d handicap tonight’s race – but then someone else kinda beat me to it….

I’ll still say, though, that I think the biggest upset would be if the unstoppable Slumdog Millionaire did not win the Oscar for Best Picture. It’s really is the favorite of favorites if I ever saw one.

The Best Actor and Best Actress contests are two for the underdogs. The former is a toss-up between Milk’s Sean Penn and The Wrestler’s Mickey Rourke, while the latter pits Doubt’s Meryl Streep against The Reader’s Kate Winslet.

But you should keep your eyes open for The Visitor’s Richard Jenkins and Frozen River’s Melissa Leo. The indie darlings could very well sweep in and leave the four vets in the dust. My money’s on Winslet – but that’s a big bet I’m not too sure the Academy is willing to let me win.

Btw, I saw Doubt over the holidays, and actually liked Streep’s scenery-chewing stoic performance, especially when her scenes called for her to go head to head with fellow nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman.

I also saw Marley & Me and loved it! And I’m hearting that Jennifer Aniston is said to be scheduled to be a presenter at the ceremony tonight. Hearting it.

Best Supporting Actor is pretty much a lock. Congratulations, Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight), and may you rest in peace.

As for Best Supporting Actress…. I think Penélope Cruz has grown so much in recent years, I’d say she’s earned it with Vicky Cristina Barcelona. It’s amazing what the right role can do. I would like to see Marisa Tomei win a second Oscar, just to stick it to those who think the first was a mistake, but I think her perkiness in The Wrestler did a good job of it already.

One thing is for sure: I’m bucking my staying-in-with-a-pizza annual tradition, and I’ll be watching Hugh Jackman do his thing at a fabulous party.

Photo: Oscar.com.

Update 1: And the winners are....

Update 2: And the best dressed winner was Penélope Cruz in vintage Balmain.

Update 3: The best dressed presenter was Sarah Jessica Parker in Dior Couture. Nope, it was Natalie Portman in pink Rodarte. Don’t make me pick one.

Update 4: And the best dressed after-party party-hopper was Madonna, who looked anything but basic in black. Natch.

Update 5: And the handsomest man of the night was Daniel Craig.

They Got Spirit

The 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards were given out in Santa Monica, Calif., yesterday – and I desperately want to see Wendy and Lucy, starring nominee Michelle Williams.

The Wrestler was named Best Feature, while its star, Mickey Rourke, won Best Male Lead, and Frozen River’s Melissa Leo picked up Best Female Lead. Meanwhile, James Franco (Milk) and Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) were singled out in the supporting categories.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

Photo: IFC.com.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What Happens When Robots Get Pissed

Somebody call the Autobots: the Decepticons are coming back this summer, and they’re looking for payback.

Click here to check out the teaser trailer for June 24’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the sequel to the very loud 2007’s Michael Bay-directed Transformers, starring It Boy and Girl Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.

It looks like this one’s going to be…louder.

Photo: MichaelBay.com.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Shall Deny

The Pussycat Dolls’ “I Hate This Part”….

I shall deny it until I’m blue in the face that I like this song.

Having said this, they’re part of the reason I’m dying to go see Britney Spears next month. They’re opening for the pop tart.

Photo: Music-Video.com.ua.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A More Mindful Kinda Sex

Sex and the City star/producer Sarah Jessica Parker says the recently confirmed sequel to last year’s summer blockbuster will be more in tune with the current economic climate.

“How do we do that well? And how do we do that in a not lazy way?” Parker cannot help but wonder. “How do we address these economic times in a franchise that has a lot to do with luxury and labels?”

Parker adds that there is a lot that the SATC team has to think about because times are very different now that when they made the first movie.

“These are nice challenges, these are good challenges,” she said. So perhaps Carrie Bradshaw will not be strutting up and down Manhattan in $600 Manolos – but she still will look fabulous.

As to what we should expect of the sequel, Parker says “I think we want this one to be a romp. The last one, we got to tell a really mature sophisticated story that had real heartbreak in it, and this time, I think we want our audience to have a massive romp.”

The Sex and the City sequel is expected to arrive in theaters next year.

Photo: UsMagazine.com.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Peru on Top

The Berlin Film Festival recently awarded its Golden Bear to Peruvian director Claudia Llosa’s Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada), the magic-realism-tinged story of women suffering the effects of the battle between Peru's government and Shining Path terrorists.

The film was the first Peruvian entry ever in the 59-year history of the Berlinale.

“This is for Peru, this is for our country,” Llosa said, holding the trophy aloft, with her lead actress, Magaly Solier, by her side.

Solier also gave an emotional speech at the awards ceremony, dedicating the award to all women, to the women of Peru and the world, encouraging them not to be afraid, to say what they feel, and to be more like her character, Fausta.

She then switched to Quechua, Peru’s second official language, and sang part of a song that speaks to the plot of the film (I hope you speak Spanish…because I ain’t translatin’):

“Cuando era pequeñita me caí, y mi mano me rompí, y ahí me cantaste /
Cantemos, cantemos, lo que es hermoso cantemos /
Nuestro dolor escondamos para olvidarlo Mamita, cántame Mamita.”

See you at the Oscars next year, La Teta Asustada!

Photo: LaTetaAsustada.com.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shopgirl

Once upon a time, if memory serves (and I’m quite sure it does), Confessions of a Shopaholic had a different actress attached to its starring role: Lindsay Lohan.

Now, I’m not going to dwell on what could have been – mostly, because, well, what’s the point, but especially because in Isla Fisher the movie has found a many-splendored thing. Confessions of a Shopaholic is elevated by Fisher. Her character is beautiful, ditzy, insightful, resourceful, and wonderful, but it’s too bad that the movie doesn’t share all of those qualities, but three out of five (i.e., beautiful, ditzy, and resourceful) isn’t bad.

Thank goodness for Patricia Field, huh.

The movie is a cliché-ridden homage to a post-Carrie Bradshaw profession, that of a magazine writer in New York City. Fisher, who stole Wedding Crashers from Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn four years ago, plays Rebecca Bloomwood. She’s the kind of girl with enough pluck to make it in the big, indeed, except for one big problem: she’s an unabashed, rationalizing, hide-from-the-debt-collector shopaholic.

Rebecca’s almost $17,000 in the red, and unless she does something about it, well…things aren’t going to go so well for her, are they.

While she would adore to work at Alette, a top fashion magazine, she can’t get in the door – that is, until she scores a job (she doesn’t care for) at sister publication Successful Saving (after first meeting not-cute on the street with her editor, played by the dashing Hugh Dancy).

And, natch, as it is the wont of a rom-com, Rebecca only gets the job, as an advice columnist, after not getting it and then writing a “brilliant” essay drunk out of her skull on tequila, which she thought she was sending to Alette, and a beyond-inappropriate stick-it letter to Dancy’s Luke Brandon she’s too smashed to realize she’s switched….

But you know how it goes: In spite of these trappings it all works out in the end.

Rebecca’s columns become an overnight sensation, but when her shopaholism and growing debt issues threaten to destroy her love life and derail her career, she struggles to keep it together, and ultimately has to re-evaluate what matters in life.

Awww.

Confessions of a Shopaholic had the task to offer maximum escapism at a time in which large amounts of it seem like a slap in the face. To see Rebecca spend like it’s going out of style (which it…has) is a little irritating, but to see Fisher do it, to see her become a star, it’s a delight.

My Rating ***

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures.
I Give Up

The Jonas Brothers were the musical guests on last night’s Saturday Night Live, and I’m not ashamed to say they got themselves a new fan.

Click here to see them perform “A Little Bit Longer.”

Resisting them was as futile as resisting the charms of Facebook. I’m hooked.

Photo: SodaHead.com.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Holding Her Ground On the Big Screen

Mission: Impossible III and Waitress star Keri Russell has joined Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford in CBS Films’ first movie, an as-yet-untitled medical drama.

Based on a true story, the film revolves around John Crowley (Fraser), who joins forces with Ford’s unconventional doctor to find a cure for his children’s rare genetic disorder. Russell will play Crowley’s wife, Aileen, who tries to build a normal home life for the children.

Production is set to begin in April.

Photo: TVGuide.com.
Happy and Sad

Mandy Moore is is engaged and “very happy.”

I always thought we’d end up together.

Best wishes, anyway. Ryan Adams is one lucky dude.

Photo: Moleskinerie.com.
This Has to Happen

A possible Veronica Mars movie is in the final stages of happening.

Perhaps.

“I’m preparing the pitch now – literally now,” Rob Thomas, the creator of the gone-too-soon CW show, recently said. “I hope to go in and talk to [executive producer] Joel Silver and [Warner Bros.] in the next week or two to see if they’re interested.”

And do I hope they are.

Thomas still has to bring home the plot, though, which will focus on Veronica (played by the formidable Kristen Bell) solving a crime in college rather than as an FBI agent. Had the show been renewed for a fourth season, the character would’ve flash-forwarded into the future, and we would’ve seen and enjoyed her at the bureau.

Thomas has cautioned, however, that completing an outline and pitching it are just two steps of a much more complicated process.

“I have some fear that Veronica Mars fans believe that the chief hurdle in getting the movie made is my writing it. Unfortunately, that’s only one of several hurdles.”

Pretty please, powers that be…make it so.

Photo: EW.com.
Savings, Checking, Conspiracy, and Murder

The International Bank of Business and Credit is the world’s premiere private banking institution for high-net-worth individuals and multinational corporations. With branches around the globe operated by top multidisciplinary experts in all aspects of banking and related fields….

At least so goes the company line.

The IBBC actually is more interested in brokering arms deals, selling missiles under the table to third world countries, and assassinating anyone who threatens its Luxembourg-based operations – a good thing since that’s exactly what drives The International’s story, a crisp thriller starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts.

The two play Interpol Agent Louis Salinger and New York ADA Eleanor Whitman. They have been working together restlessly to bring to justice the IBBC, but when their case hits a roadblock (i.e., when one of their colleagues bites it), they begin to uncover myriad and reprehensible illegal activities that put them on a trail of money and blood that goes from Berlin to Milan to New York to Istanbul.

Finding themselves in a high-stakes chase they may sway but not win, their quest for justice endangers their lives as their powerful targets will stop at nothing – nothing, I tell ya! – to continue financing terror and war.

The International worked for me because, you know, one of the things I enjoy so is seeing Clive Owen on screen.

Another one is seeing Naomi Watts.

If you put the two together, add a fantastic centerpiece shoot ’em up scene set in New York’s Guggenheim museum, mix in a thought-provoking commentary on the dangers of a large banking system, and throw a measure of Brian F. O’Byrne as a killer for hire, you get a taut piece of entertainment that is hard to resist.

Sure, the movie could’ve been a tad shorter, but you can never get enough of Owen’s intense green-eyed stare.

My Rating ***

Photo: Sony Pictures.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Simply Irresistible, Pt. 45

The last couple of episodes of TV’s Lost have continued to fascinate and boggle my mind, but this was made all the more enjoyable by the sight of Marc Menard, a too-hot-for-our-own-good dude playing one of -a-i-ll- R-u--e--’s countrymen.

It’s not right, but it’s OK that Menard’s sooo hot.

In the paraphrased words of Meryl Streep, somebody get him a movie or a TV show pronto!

Photo: ABC.com.
Possession

Do y’all get the fascination with Megan Fox?

Sure, the actress is all kinds of sultry, but what has she done other than Transformers, really?

Other than being hailed as the second coming of Angelina Jolie, that is – which I kinda see, but then again no.

Well, I guess I’ll get some sort of answer in the Jennifer’s Body, due in theaters on Sept. 18. The darkly comic movie, written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody (Juno), calls for Fox (pictured at right in scene of the fall release) to play a high school mean girl possessed by an even meaner demon.

“In order to live in this new state of undead, she has to feed on human flesh,” Fox said. “So she takes revenge on men who she secretly hated her whole life anyway…. I’ve always hated boys, so I identified with that very easily.”

Jeez, I certainly hope that doesn’t include fiancé Brian Austin Green (f.k.a. Beverly Hills, 90210’s David Silver, n.k.a. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ hot uncle).

Photo: EW.com.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More, Robin. More!

I did it for “Magic,” I did it for “The Sweetest Love,” and now I’m doing it for “Dreamworld.”

I give you Robin Thicke’s latest video:



Btw and FYI: Thicke told The Miami Herald last fall that “Dreamworld,” a song in he talks about racism, “came about because my wife [actress Paula Patton] and I were talking about the situation she faces being an African-American woman in society and in Hollywood, and the opportunities and the playing fields not being leveled.

“In that conversation, we just started talking about what our dream world would be – that includes me and her walking in Mississippi without anybody looking at us.”

Well, it’s a gorgeous song, and guess who’s gonna look for you on tour with Jennifer Hudson this spring.

That’s right. Me.
The Prince of Late Night

Former SNLer Jimmy Fallon is taking over NBC’s Late Night when funnyman Conan O’Brien vacates the spot, moves west, and takes over The Tonight Show later this year (Fallon will visit O’Brien tonight, btw).

The choice of Fallon has proven controversial, but the budding late-night host says what truly will set him apart from the bunch is his youthful love of all things pop culture.

“My monologues will be more entertainment focused,” he told W magazine. “I really don’t know much about politics and sports.

“I’ve started reading all the papers, but before I did ‘Weekend Update’ [on SNL], I only read USA Today. I liked the colors.”

That just might work.

Photo: WMagazine.com.
The Basterds Are Coming

Yep, from the looks of this trailer, “you haven’t seen war until you’ve seen it through the eyes of Quentin Tarantino,” so check out the trailer of Aug. 21’s Inglourious Basterds, starring a “scalps”-hungry Brad Pitt, now.

The movie co-stars Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Eli Roth, B.J. Novak (TV’s The Office), Michael Fassbender (300), Mike Myers, and Cloris Leachman.

I can't wait for summer to arrive. Or for Pitt to shave that silly mustache.

Photo: François Duhamel.

She’s Got the Look

First Lady Michelle Obama can add another title to her résumé: cover girl.

Obama will make history once more next month by becoming only the second president’s wife to appear on the cover of Vogue (the first to do so was Hillary Clinton, in December 2008).

The fashion icon – yeah, I said it – was photographed by Annie Leibovitz at the Hay-Adams Hotel, where the First Family stayed before the Inauguration.

The March issue of the magazine features a cover shot of Obama wearing a magenta dress by Jason Wu, who designed her inaugural gown, and a layout of the first lady in a black dress by designer Narciso Rodriguez.

As for why the fashion bible chose to feature Obama on the cover, editrix Anna Wintour writes, “Change was the clarion call of Barack Obama’s election campaign, though I don’t think any of us at Vogue initially realized that would include the difference that was going to be made by first lady Michelle Obama’s wardrobe.

“It’s inspiring to see our first lady so serene and secure in her personal style.”

And on the cover of Vogue!

Photo: People.com.
Nostalgia, Pt. 28

“I couldn’t have foreseen that her career would take the direction [that it did]. Not to diminish her [acting] ability, but she played a great Madonna.

“And it’s very difficult to play a great version of yourself [when you have little experience and all these marks to hit].”

That’s what director Susan Seidelman said about Madonna, one of her Desperately Seeking Susan stars, to those of us who gathered last night at the ArtCenter/SouthFlorida to hear her speak at a seminar sponsored by the Entertainment Industry Incubator as part of its Miami Filmmaker Project‏ Series.

It’s good to hear M’s ability on film celebrated from time to time, you know.

Now click here to watch Madonna performing “Into the Groove,” which played over the movie’s end credits, then and now.

Photo: Mad-Eyes.net.
Just Because, Pt. 34

And your too-tight blue Nina Ricci dress at the Golden Globes is now forgiven, Blake Lively….

The Gossip Girl star was all kinds of visual goodness when she attended the Berlin Film Festival premiere of the upcoming The Private Lives of Pippa Lee earlier this week in a pink Oscar de la Renta gown.

Totally “XOXO” this look.

Photo: InStyle.com.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stripping Off Their Scrubs

Grey’s Anatomy’s Seattle Grace Hospital soon will look a lot different (although some may say it already does).

James Pickens Jr., who plays Dr. Richard Webber, a.k.a. the Chief, confirmed the rumors that both Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight will leave the show.

“Yes, she is,” Pickens told Us Weekly. “Wherever Katherine goes, I wish her nothing but the best.

“He’s going, too. He just wanted to pursue other career paths.”

A source told the magazine that Knight has had numerous talks with executive producer Shonda Rhimes, and that the “writers are scrambling to find a believable exit for [his character, underused this season], one that would leave the door open for him to come back someday.”

Good luck with that. I understand both Heigl and Knight have grown out of love with the show that made them household names – and I don’t blame them. Although I still watch Grey’s Anatomy, her ghost-seeing storyline has been incredibly taxing, and his sporadic appearances have been a great disservice to his talent and to the audience.

Photo: UsMagazine.com.

Update 1: Did James Pickens Jr. jump the gun when he said what he said about his co-stars’ leaving?

Update 2: Eric Dane, a.k.a. Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan, opened up a little to Ellen DeGeneres on her show after she asked him if his Grey’s Anatomy co-stars are, indeed, leaving the show.

“I don’t really comment,” he said. “I worked with them this morning, and they were both very present. I know you want to know, and I get it, but until the boss [Shonda Rhimes] says this is going down, it’s not happening.”


Time will tell, I guess.

Update 3: Shonda Rhimes said it is all “a rumor.” Uh huh.
The Writers Say

Last weekend, at simultaneous ceremonies on both coasts, the Writers Guild of America announced the winners of the 2009 Writers Guild Awards for outstanding achievement in screen, television, radio, news, promotional and videogame writing.

The screen winners were Dustin Lance Black (pictured at right) for Milk’s original screenplay, and Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire’s adapted script.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

Photo: Focus Features (Milk).

Monday, February 09, 2009

The English Say

According to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler), Kate Winslet (The Reader), Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight), and Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) did the best acting jobs of 2008.

Slumdog Millionaire was named Best Film at the weekend ceremony in London, while Man on Wire won Best British Film.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

Photo: Magnolia Pictures (Man on Wire).
When Madonna Met Jesus

She’s a powerful, sexy woman. He’s her boyish plaything. This is Rio de Janeiro.

Madonna has once again teamed up with photographer Steven Klein to scorch the pages of W magazine with a 46-page portfolio titled “Blame It on Rio,” featuring the Queen of Pop, half-naked in black lingerie, straddling one stud on a hotel bed while being attended by three other pleasure-givers, one of whom barely conceals his manhood with a towel.

The spread gives prominent play to M’s rumored boy toy du jour, Brazilian model Jesus Luz.

Asked about the nature of Madonna’s relationship with Luz, her rep, Liz Rosenberg, said, “I’m told they’re kind of friends.”

She may be a Grammy loser, but definitely knows how to come up on top.

Photo: WMagazine.com.

Update:
A source close to Madonna told Us Weekly that while the singer and the model are not serious, “she is seeing where it goes.”

I’m gonna guess bed.
The High Notes and the Low

“What happened with Chris Brown and Rihanna?”

That surely must have been the $1 million question at last night’s 51st Annual Grammy Awards, which saw Alison Krauss and Robert Plant win five trophies, including Album of the Year, while Coldplay followed closely with three (Song of the Year for “Viva La Vida,” Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group, and their third Best Rock Album Grammy).

Meanwhile, Jennifer Hudson received her first Grammy, for Best R&B Album, from Whitney Houston (who looked kinda too exciting to be there, didn’t she?), and Adele was named Best New Artist (and also picked up Best Female Pop Vocal Performance).

Madonna did not win a thing.

But back to the lowest point of the night, the Chris Brown-Rihanna situation and all the speculation it generated.

The two acts, and real-life couple, pulled out of the awards show after the LAPD launched an investigation into Brown’s behavior on Saturday night. As it turns out he thought it was alright for fighting.

As the Grammys were under way, Brown turned himself in to authorities over a felony domestic abuse charge against an unnamed victim who had suffered visible injuries and had identified him as her attacker in an incident that occurred after Clive Davis’ annual pre-party.

Although Rihanna’s rep said she was doing “well,” The Insider reported she was bruised in a car accident Sunday morning.

Hate to say it, but Mmmmm.

Photos: MTV.com; TheDailyBeast.com.

Update: TMZ.com has confirmed that Rihanna is the named alleged victim in the Chris Brown case, and the allegation is that she was assaulted with a deadly weapon.

DMFA.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Host with the Most

The Oscars are like, two weeks away, so I cannot help but wonder what Hugh Jackman is wearing right now, I mean…planning to do as the host of Hollywood’s biggest night.

This may give us a clue.

Hint: It involves skin, and lots of it.

Photo: EW.com.
Extraordinary People

The new sci-fi fantasy so-called thriller Push, starring the never-to-go-shirtless-again Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, and Djimon Honsou, opens today, and if you’re in the mood for a slightly better, longer episode of TV’s Heroes – and I say that because that show’s a mess these days – then you’re in luck.

Don’t get too excited just yet, though.

Evans plays Nick, a mover. This means he can, well…move objects or people telekinetically. Fanning – whom I really believed had gone into hiding since 2006’s Charlotte’s Web to avoid going through puberty in the spotlight but clearly had been shooting Push – is Cassie, a watcher (she can see the future). And Belle plays Kira, a pusher who can make her thoughts your own.

All three are hiding in Hong Kong from Division, a shadowy U.S. government agency that is hunting them down. In fact, Kira has escaped from their grasp, taking with her something they want back, and now Nick & Co. must work together to keep this safe, not to mention themselves, and maybe, just maybe bring down the agency.

Standing in their way, though, is Agent Carver (Honsou), a pusher who just won’t stop at nothing to keep them from achieving their goal.

So…OK – I’ve told you what you need to know about the plot of Push. Now let me talk about the execution.

Uhh…well, it’s a good-looking movie. Alright, read: If you’re going to do a movie like this then you need to make it really exciting. The concept is pretty cool and hip, that of calling these super-able people by names other than what we’d expect, and whatnot. Setting them in a far-off land works, too, since Hong Kong is such a great location. But you cannot make your action sooo derivative. It’s boring. You gotta make it edge-of-your-seat fun, not fidget-in-your-seat-because-you-know-what’s-coming by the book.

Evans makes a sympathetic lead, doing the most he can with a flatly written character, while Belle, whom I crush on from time to time, underwhelms with her limited range of facial and emotional expressions.

Fanning, though, is the reason to sit through this one.

She is a delight to watch – she is going to grow into a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. This is a smart way for her to bypass cutesy roles usually reserved for teen actresses – she says “s---” a couple of times in the movie! (and pulls it off). She remains the most effective of the whole bunch. (If this were an episode of Heroes, the petition for a spin-off would start here.)

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Summit Entertainment.
The New Deal

Once upon a time, the episode of HBO’s Sex and the City titled “Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little” aired, and inspired the revolutionary self-help best-seller known as He’s Just Not That Into You.

Written by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tucillo, a former executive story editor and writer on the show, the tome shone a light on the awful truths of dating, like if he’s not calling you…or marrying you…or sleeping with you, then – all together – he (or she) must not be that into you.

The movie by the same title is out today, and it’s a must-watch for two reasons.

First, the cast: When else are you going to watch such a good-looking ensemble, including Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore (an executive producer on it), Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly (HBO’s Entourage), Bradley Cooper (TV’s Alias), Ginnifer Goodwin (HBO’s Big Love), Scarlett Johansson, and Barrymore’s ex, Justin Long, in one movie?

Not soon enough.

And second, it’s given Saturday Night Live a reason to tap Cooper to host tomorrow night. Now, that little added extra is worth the price of the ticket.

But I know. I digress.

He’s Just Not That Into You tells the Baltimore-set interconnected stories of a group of people facing the challenges of reading or misreading human behavior.

For instance, there’s Gigi (a radiant Goodwin), a wallflower-type who puts herself out there, but still can’t find a man to call her back. Is she trying too hard, or is she just plain ol’ unlucky in love?

Then there’s Beth (Aniston), a woman who has been in a relationship with Neil (Affleck) for seven years, but he’s still not proposing. Is he stalling, or is it never going to happen?

And there’s also Anna (Johansson), a femme fatale-type who’s stringing along Conor (Connolly), a good-boy realtor, and flirting with Ben (Cooper), an exec married to Janine (Connelly), a tightly wound co-worker of Gigi and Beth’s.

Look, He’s Just Not That Into You is a rom-com, and unfortunately, it’s a phenomenal one because the rom in it is so…calibrated, so…clean, so…precise, that it just falls short of something we can actually relate to. And the com in it, while insightful, is not ha ha! enough.

I still liked it, though.

But in a post-Rules, post-Sex and the City world, in which we (women and men) are supposed to be able to talk about feelings, I just did not think it really brought anything new to the table. Still, some of us need to watch this movie. Perhaps it can point us in the right direction, or perhaps it will make us smile. Often, that’s all you need.

My Rating **1/2

Photo: Warner Bros.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Pop It!

Here they strut again: The Sex and the City movie sequel is happening.

“I’m very excited to work with these amazing actresses again,” said returning director Michael Patrick King, “and would love to give everyone more information about the sequel...but I’m busy with my Sex life.”

All four SATC stars – Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon – are said to have finalized their deals on Wednesday.

King has yet to write a script, but shooting will reportedly begin this summer with a release date sometime in summer 2010.

Photo: E! Online.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

HTMJL

Who’s that boy dressed as a girl at right?

My, it’s Jude Law.

Hot Tranny Mess Jude Law!

The actor will look fabu as a transgender supermodel in Sally Potter’s film Rage, opening later this year. Law plays a character named Minx opposite Judi Dench, Steve Buscemi, Eddie Izzard, and John Leguizamo.

He makes a fetching tranny, does he not?

Photo: EW.com.
Earning His Hyphens

At last month’s Sundance Film Festival, actor John Krasinski (TV’s The Office) turned.

He turned director, that is.

As a student at Brown in 2000, Krasinski did a staged adaptation of late author David Foster Wallace’s short story collection Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, a project that solidified his desire to act. He then spent the last eight years adapting the book into a movie, which premiered in competition the festival.

Starring Julianne Nicholson as a grad student studying the male psyche, and Christopher Meloni (TV’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, and SNL’s Will Forte, the project is described by EW.com as “a risky debut for any first-time filmmaker, but the always-charming Krasinski appears to be holding himself together quite admirably.”

That’s because dude’s a star.

Photo: OfficeTally.com.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

In Common

Gwyneth Paltrow and me…we’re not just humans and F.O.M.s – that’s Fans of Madonna – we also both heart Coldplay’s “Fix You” and “Swallowed in the Sea.”

The actress admits, though, that she cannot listen to the latter “without crying,” because it helped her cope with the loss of her father, Bruce Paltrow, whose October 2002 death crushed her.

“It’s so hard for me to listen to [them],” Paltrow told the U.K. edition of Elle. As for her husband, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, “I’m amazed he stuck with me [at the time], because I was a wreck. I can’t believe that he did.”

She also says she’s fully aware the media like to speculate on the condition of their marriage, and insists they simply don’t like being photographed together, out on red carpets arm in arm.

“It doesn’t behoove us to be a public couple,” she added. (Paltrow will be a presenter at the upcoming Grammy Awards. Coldplay are nominated and scheduled to perform.) “[Chris] certainly doesn’t want to be that. We’ve never ever walked down a red carpet together, [and] we never will. If people think that that means we’re not together, then – ha ha ha! – so be it.”

That’s another thing she and I have in common: I love going ha ha ha!

So suck it.

I always knew Paltrow and I would hit it off. And we did.

Photo: People.com.

Slumdog Keeps on Slammin’

Danny Boyle added another trophy to Slumdog Millionaire’s case when he picked up the Directors Guild of America Award for outstanding directorial achievement in feature film over the weekend, proving that this indie is unstoppable.

Photo: Celador Films.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Amy, Amy, Amy!

I sure you miss you so on SNL, Amy Poehler, but I cannot wait to see you and love you in NBC’s new sitcom, Parks and Recreation:



Tina Fey, your BFF is gonna give you a run for your money come next awards season.

Update: The show, which premieres on April 9, finds Poehler playing Leslie Knope, a big dreamer within a small-town’s local government.

Rashida Jones (a.k.a. The Office’s Karen) co-stars as a nurse who brings a grand idea to Leslie’s desk, setting up the series’ ongoing plot point, that is the painfully slow, red-tape-riddled conversion of a dangerous construction pit into a city park.
Showing Them Who’s Boss

Now, this how you do it.

Bruce Springsteen beyond-rocked his 12 minutes of halftime show at yesterday’s Super Bowl like only he could and would.

I mean, the man and his E Street Band turned it up, and he even knee-slid across the stage (crotching the camera at the end) to begin his awesome set, which included “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” “Born to Run,” the phenomenal “Glory Days,” and “Working on a Dream.”

Yes, there was no “Dancing in the Dark,” but it was one of the most exciting halftime shows I’ve seen in…well, since I started to keep up with the Super Bowl.

And what about that Jennifer Hudson singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the opening of the game, huh? Talk about greatness right there. Whitney Houston, you did beautifully in 1991, but J. Hud just blew you away.

Photo: UsMagazine.com.
Sexy Trek

Yesterday, during the much-watched Super Bowl – how convenient – the first Star Trek commercial aired, giving as many as 100 million football fans a peek at director J.J. Abrams’ retooling of the sci-fi franchise.

No plot reveals other than what we already know from earlier teasers – that this will be an origin story, telling how Kirk (Chris Pine, pictured at right with co-star Zoë Saldana), Spock (Zachary Quinto of TV’s Heroes), and McCoy (Karl Urban) hook up at Starfleet Academy – but it is quite clear from this 30-second spot that Abrams is gunning for a younger, hipper demographic than previous Star Treks.

Uh duh. Sex sells, and it works like a garnish for people like me who don’t know the franchise like, at all.

Star Trek lands in theaters on May 8.

Photo: Paramount Pictures.

Update: The lady pictured at right actually is Rachel Nichols (TV’s Alias).

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Here’s an Idea

Hey, Courteney Cox: Drop whatever it is that you’re doing, Friend. You have got to get to Tampa today.

Hey, Bruce Springsteen: You must make sure she has front-row tickets to your Super Bowl halftime show. You just have to.

And you have got to play “Dancing in the Dark.”

You see where I’m going with this?

Courteney, Bruce: You have to recreate this:

Coming Soon to a TV Near You

Ugly Betty debacle aside, I have to say the folks at ABC are pretty smart since they have gone and green-lit a single-camera sitcom titled Let It Go that will mark the grand return to the small screen of one Ms. Lauren Graham.

In the show, the erstwhile Gilmore Girl will play a self-help guru/talk show host whose advice to women winds up falling on her own deaf but pretty ears when her “perfect” beau gives her the boot.

Graham will juggle production on the pilot with her upcoming run in Broadway’s Guys and Dolls, which begins previews on Wednesday and officially opens on March 1.

I want to go to there!

Click here to find out how Graham’s preparing to take over the Great White Way.

Photo: TVgasm.com.